Digital Abuse

By: Desi Bolin

What is Digital Abuse?

Digital dating abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online. In a healthy relationship all communication is respectful whether in person, online or by phone. It is never ok for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you.

Warning Signs

You may be experiencing digital abuse if your partner:

  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites.
  • Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, DMs or other messages online.
  • Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you.
  • Puts you down in their status updates.
  • Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and demands you send some in return.
  • Pressures you to send explicit video.
  • Steals or insists to be given your passwords.
  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished.
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls.
  • Tags you unkindly in pictures on Instagram, Tumblr, etc.

What you can do to help:

  • 1. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend who you think needs help. Tell them you're concerned for their safety and want to help.
  • 2. Be supportive and listen patiently. Acknowledge their feelings and be respectful of their decisions.
  • 3. Help your friend recognize that the abuse is not “normal” and is NOT their fault.
  • Places to get help:

    1. School

    Talk to some close friends and try to get some advise!

    2. Work

    Talk to another employee or even your boss.

    3. Home

    Talking to your family about abuse is VERY important! They're going to want to know whats going on and they're going to help you.

    4. Community

    Talk to people in town that live nearby!